(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — On Monday, we commemorate Juneteenth National Independence Day and the ending of slavery in the United States. For the military, Juneteenth honors Black service members, who have fought and sacrificed to ensure national freedoms for all Americans. This weekend, we encourage you to reflect upon the significance of this day in our country’s history.

Leaders, check in with your teammates. Know their weekend plans, be available and remain connected. Talk to those in your care about risks, mitigations and safe practices. Look out for one another, plan ahead and maintain awareness.

Check the weather, plan for emergencies and adjust as conditions change. Be cognizant of your exertion level while outside and have a plan to remain hydrated and cool to minimize the risk of environmental injuries. If you have children or pets, double check your vehicle when you exit and never leave them unattended. Never cross roads with flowing water.

Know which teammates operate all-terrain and utility vehicles, motorcycles, watercraft and boats, and talk with them about the safe use of those vehicles. Additionally, ensure all required training, licensing and certification is complete for any vehicle you operate; wear protective equipment, including safety belts, life jackets and helmets; follow all laws; and obey speed limits — and ensure those in your care do the same. Never operate any vehicle while distracted, drowsy or under the influence. Alcohol impairs cognition, thus increasing risk in every activity.

If you own a firearm, store all weapons not in use either in a safe, a locked case or with a trigger lock engaged. You should never handle a weapon after or while consuming alcohol.

We are proud to serve with you and want you to observe this Juneteenth weekend safely.

Victory Starts Here — Victory Through Skill!